The First Snow and Some Thoughts on Wonder

Do you ever have one of those days where you want to write (paint, design, photograph, etc.) something and just feel dejected because you know you just can’t capture that special something that brings you so much wonder it hurts?

Today is one of those days. All week I’ve been thinking about the things in life that make me light up, that make me feel most alive, that steal my inspiration because there just aren’t words. Yet here I am trying to write about them anyway.

Last night was our first real snow fall of the year. In my book—and perhaps only in my book—that makes it a holiday. I love to celebrate by visiting a coffee shop where I can sit inside, thaw next to the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate, and think about the way snow transforms the world as I stare out the window. And crunching through the snow on my walk from the car? That’s just a bonus. My favorite “snow experience” came last night when I went outside and just stared up at the sky, watching the snow fall around me until my neck hurt.

That first snow (and each subsequent snow) brings out the same thing I feel when I visit a book store. Or when I go to the mountains. Or a Great Lake. Or when I step back during a family gathering and observe from the outside. Or when I think about the first day of school. Or the six months when I was praying Jonathan would notice me.

It’s wonder. The kind of wonder when you can’t speak, except to repeat the same phrase over and over (in my case, it’s usually “It’s so pretty!”) The kind that makes you ache inside because you know it’s beyond you. The kind that overwhelms you with beauty and brings the slightest bit of sorrow because you know you can never contain it. No matter what you do, you can’t take it all in.

And it’s really difficult to describe.

But that’s what makes it so perfect. So exciting. So wonderful.

flowersinyellowstone snowinduluth sunset